Baseball has statistics for just about anything a player does on the field short of scratching his nose (and I hear rumors that Bill James is looking into that for 2014). One thing the game lacks is a standard metric to measure the entertainment value of watching any given player. To that end, a couple seasons ago I created the STOOPID Ranking. “STOOPID” is, of course, an acronym for the highly technical, proprietary Subjective Triangle Of Originality Plus Irrationality Dividend. The beauty of the STOOPID metric is that it allows players, managers, and even owners all to be measured by the same standard, allowing you, the baseball fan, to see where and how to get the most bang for your buck.
The STOOPID ranking is based on three base factors:
Name (worth maximum of 1.0)
Appearance (worth maximum of 1.5)
Quirks (worth maximum 2.0)
Added to the base is the Irrationality Dividend (worth maximum of 3.0), which measures a player or manager’s tendency to do crazy-ass stuff either on or of the field. For example, Albert Belle scores 3(ID) for a total ranking of 3. Name, appearance, and other quirks are nil, but the anger issues that caused locker room, dugout, and other outbursts give him the top score in irrationality. Briefly, let’s look at the 2013 Indians and calculate their STOOPID rankings. We’ll start with the position players.
Mike Aviles A(.5) + Q(.5)=1.0
Aviles gets .5 for his ability to always have three-days worth of facial hair–no more, no less. His wonderful helicopter batting stance gives him a .5 in quirks. And while he’s the only player I know of who’s ever been thrown out of a game after the game was already over, that does nothing for Aviles’ ID. However, it gives umpire Tony Randazzo an Irrationality Dividend of 1.75.
Michael Bourn N(.5)=.5
Michael Bourn gets .5 for a last name that allows for puns and pop culture allusions, but that’s about it. You don’t get appearance points for a great smile. In addition to asking him to increase his offensive output and base stealing next season, I also request that Bourn weird it up a little bit.
Michael Brantley Q(.5)=.5
Brantley doesn’t show emotion on the field–it’s rare to even see him crack a smile, so he gets .5 in quirks for his fast feet and Dr. Smooth persona. He also got married during the last off season, and his wife delivered their first baby less than a year later. Insert your own joke about fast and smooth here.
Asdrubal Cabrera N(.5) + A(.5)= 1.0
Cabrera gets .5 for his last name because you can roll those two “r’s” from here until next Tuesday. He also gets .5 for appearance because, according to the other players, he has the worst hair on the team.
Lonnie Chisenhall N(.5)=.5
Lonnie Chisenhall gets .5 for a somewhat unusual name, but that’s about it. He’s actually too pretty to rank in appearance and doesn’t have any remarkable quirks as a player. He could raise his STOOPID ranking by bringing back the 70’s porn star moustache he sported during part of the 2012 season and letting that sucker grow.
Yan Gomes N(.5) + Q(.5) = 1.0
Yan Gomes gets a .5 for having a first name that sounds Dutch but is spelled as though it’s Chinese pinyin. He gets a bonus .5 in quirks for being the first Brazilian native to play major league ball. For that, he got not one, but two tweets from Pele. That’s as sweet as getting named the Tribe’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Jason Kipnis N(.5) + Q(1.0)=1.5
Despite having one of the most common first names of his generation, Jason Kipnis gets a .5 for a last name that’s fun to say and allows Clevelanders to play on the Cavaliers’ old “witness” slogan by saying “We are all Kipnises.” The point-the-bat-behind-you batting stance and a habit of singing to himself while in the field gives him a quirk value of 1.0 for a total ranking of 1.5.
Ryan Raburn N(.5) + ID(1.)=1.5
Ryan Raburn gets .5 for having an alliterative name. His irrationality dividend comes from weird stuff seeming to happen when he’s around. Like having him pitch a perfect inning (in his first MLB pitching appearance) during a 14-inning game against Detroit or being the interviewee when Katie Witham gets a bug up her nose.
Carlos Santana N(.5) + A(.75) = 1.5
Carlos Santana gets the obligatory .5 for sharing a name with a guitar legend, which allows fans to make cool shirts like this. Santana gets a bigger bump in appearance for his ever-changing facial hair and the little dreads.
Drew Stubbs N(1) + Q(.5) = 1.5
Drew Stubbs gets full points for having a first name that’s a verb and a last name that’s, well, amusing. He also gets .5 in quirks because, when he gets on base, it’s fun to watch someone so bloody fast run the bases. When the Tribe first signed him, I thought Indians fans might be able to play drinking games based on his number of strikeouts, but Stubbs kept himself out of the top 10 in strikeouts last season. This is an area where I hope he does not try to improve his quirk ranking.
Nick Swisher N(.5) + A(.5) + Q(1.0) + ID(1.0)=2.5
On a roster full of rather staid position players, I have to say that Nick Swisher is a breath of STOOPID fresh air. The last name gives him .5, as does his ever-changing facial hair. But it’s his BroOhioian, Harlem Shaking, fireworks sponsoring personality that gives him a very high overall ranking.